As leaders in the body of Christ we must keep a clear perspective in regard to our responsibility as leaders. The Old Covenant was a covenant based upon the knowledge of good as it pertains to God who is good. The New Covenant is based upon a knowing of God who is good. Leadership in the Old Covenant was all about taking people by the hand and leading them in the ways of God. The prophet Jeremiah foretold of the New Covenant that would come through Christ. That New Covenant sets out the parameters for leadership in the church.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘ Know the Lord, ’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
In these verses we find several keys to the requirement of leadership in the New Covenant. The first thing that is seen is that leadership cannot take people by the hand and lead them and expect to see New Covenant transformations in the lives of those they lead. We must inspire people to live from their hearts in loving God and we cannot lead them through mere accountability to godly principles and rules. A covenant of accountability will not change the hearts of those we lead. It must be a covenant of love and relationship. We must lead in a way that inspires people to live from transformed hearts and mind towards God. It must be a covenant based upon a revelation of God’s love. Even the least in a covenant of love can know Him. We must lead in a way that we inspire a culture that is shame free. We need God’s manifest presence that transforms the weaknesses of people’s hearts by the greatness of God’s love and the power of His grace.
We cannot put God’s way into the hearts and minds of those we lead. We must be more dependent upon God’s manifest presence in the lives of those we lead than in merely teaching them godly principles. We must be dependent upon God’s presence in order to lead others into His presence as well. We must teach people what God is like in His character, nature, way, power, and authority, but we must depend upon God to be the one who makes those things real in the lives of we lead.
We must be fathers, mothers, mentors, and influencers of true vulnerability and life. There are absolutes in the character of God, but seeking to please those absolutes is not enough. We must have a revelation of who God is and a revelation of who we are meant to be in order to receive a change in our hearts and minds that empowers us to become people who cast a shadow that looks like the absolutes of God’s way.
As leaders we must consider the root of the issues of the human heart and not merely seek to deal with the fruit of those issues. We are not here to teach people what to do or how to act. We are here to help them discover who they really are. When they know they are sons and daughters of God they will manifest as His children in the earth. It is about an empowerment to be, not merely an empowerment to do.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson